The Most Incredible Marketing Lesson I Learned - I Got From NASA

I was reading the other day about the space probes sent to Mars. The article told about the distance to Mars, the timing of the launch, and how accurate the math had to be. Mars is about 35 MILLION miles from Earth at it's closest. (I'm doing this from memory. I may be off a little).

To hit Mars at all, the probe has to be this accurate. Imaging shooting a basketball from New York to California...and you have to make the basket without touching the rim.

Impossible. But NASA has done it several times. A 100% success rate (of getting to Mars, anyway). What does this have to do with marketing? A lot.

The NASA probe makes constant minute changes in direction as it travels across space. It constantly corrects itself so that it will always go where it needs to go.

In your retail store. How can you know where your business is heading? By knowing where it's been before.

Keeping records of advertising results and results of any marketing programs you're using will give you needed information. Did your ad produce 20% less business last month than the month before? There is a reason. What did you change? Did you change the position of the ad? The size? The day of the week it ran? The media?

Did you change something in the ad itself? I changed the position of the headline one month in my most profitable ad. Same ad..same headline..different position. (I put the headline in the center of the ad. Headlines always go at the top of the ad. It must be the first thing the reader sees as they scan the page)

$8,000 in sales from the ad one month...ZERO the next. It pretty much screams for your attention, doesn't it?

I ad in the newspaper one week and it produced well. The next time it was in the paper, the rep put it on the left hand page in the crease of the fold. Bad. No response because nobody saw the ad.

Keeping records is a major key to business success. Why?...

" What Get's Measured, Improves"

If you know how well you did last week, you can tell if you're getting better, worse, or staying the same this week.

In his classic book " How I raised myself from a failure to success in selling" by Frank Bettger, he tells how he sold insurance in the 1930's (or so). He started keeping records.

Claude Whitacre is the author of the book The Unfair Advantage Small Business Advertising Manual. Claude speaks on small business advertising and retail marketing.


Click Here To Return To More Articles By Claude Whitacre

Click Here To Return To ClaudeWhitacre.com